Ohio State House Atty Charged
As The 'Naked Photographer'

By Sandy Theis
Cleveland Plain Dealer Bureau Chief

COLUMBUS - Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder placed a high-ranking staff attorney on paid leave yesterday after police accused the man of being the city's so-called naked photographer.
Stephen Linnen, 33, was charged with one count of gross sexual imposition and one count of abduction.
Police said they believe he is the man who has been exposing himself to central Ohio and then photographing his astonished victims.
He is scheduled to appear this morning in Franklin County Municipal Court.
The naked photographer has struck about 40 times over the past 18 months, police said, and his conduct has grown more brazen over time. Initially, he just ambushed his victims and - while wearing little more than a knit cap and glasses - took their pictures.
Last May, however, he grabbed one of two teenage girls as they walked home from school, said Gahanna Police Detective Jeff Spence.
"He would not let her go and he fondled her briefly," Spence said.
Columbus police initially arrested Linnen Wednesday night on charges of public indecency and assault after they spotted him hovering, naked, in an alley where a woman had reported a confrontation just moments before. Sunglasses and a knit cap were discovered nearby, police said.
Linnen posted bond and was released.
A search of his Columbus apartment turned up photographs and other evidence that Spence said linked Linnen to the more serious charges.
Police in Gahanna, a Columbus suburb, arrested him yesterday.
Linnen is a 1998 graduate of the University of Akron Law School and a 1993 graduate of Miami University where he ma jored in philosophy, with an emphasis on ethics, according to his resume.
After law school, he worked in the Ohio Senate, then transferred to the House in 2003 where he served as deputy legal counsel. He was regarded as a good employee, although a supervisor noted that he had a habit of coming in late, according to his personnel file.
Other House Republican staff members have landed in hot water in recent years.
Another Householder appointee, budget analyst John R. Zakrajsek, was charged in 2000 with soliciting a prostitute and found guilty of a lesser charge of criminal mischief, according to court records. Before joining the speaker's staff, he worked for Speaker Pro Tempore Gary Cates. Zakrajsek did not return calls seeking comment.
And House Deputy Legal Counsel Stephen Cuckler has been recommended for disciplinary action after he misrepresented himself as a lawyer - before he had passed the bar exam.
Householder spokesman Dwight Crum said staff troubles are isolated incidents and said, "There are over 200 people who the speaker had direct responsibility for hiring and firing."
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 1-800-228-8272
© 2003 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved.




This Site Served by TheHostPros